What’s Your “One Thing?”

Ellen Dykas

One thing have I asked of the Lord,

that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

Psalm 27:4

In my last post (Living a Life that Becomes a Life Well-Lived), I was sharing thoughts on how to live now in such a way that our lives would end having been lived well, and David’s words here in Psalm 27 give us (me!) more clues about what this means. It’s to know what your “one thing” is going to be. David said that his “one thing” was to dwell in the house of the Lord, or as we might say now from our vantage place of being “in Christ,” to faithfully abide in the Lord Jesus. David said that he wanted to dwell in the Lord’s house so that he could:

  • Gaze upon the Lord’s beauty
  • Inquire of the Lord

I like the way that Pastor John Piper often has said in his teaching ministry, “Let your passions be single!” He’s speaking of a devoted and undistracted life, for and towards Jesus Christ, of making sure that our “one thing” is faithfulness to Jesus; abiding in Jesus as we love and know and seek to obey his word.  When our “one thing” becomes a part of many things, or when our “one thing” is SELF, comfort, pleasure or the affection and/or sexual attentions of other people, then we find ourselves living an Anti-Psalm 27:4, that goes something like this:

One thing I have sought after and asked of the Lord and that is
‘Please leave me alone God!’ I mean, I want your attention but not now, ok?!
I want to build and nestle inside a home of my own making… where it feels good,
and no one bothers me about what I’m gazing at.
I’ll inquire of you, Lord, but later ok?
I don’t mean to offend you, Lord, but I just need (fill in the blank) this right now and you…
well, you just don’t seem as real as him/her/it/this.
I love you Lord, but I NEED him/her/it/this.

Sexual sin and disordered relational entanglements are “one thing” that offer to us an instant payback of sexual and/or emotional pleasure; a comforting distraction that dulls and temporarily erases our inner pain and heartache. When our “one thing” isn’t Jesus, so many other things will rush in to fill the void, and entice and tantalize and seduce and woo and offer to us a form of life.  But it will be death in the end.

How do you focus on your “one thing;” to live fully for Jesus amid all the struggles of this life?  I’d love to know what helps you do this.

Ellen Dykas
About The Author
Ellen oversees the Philadelphia office’s ministry to women. Her ministry is focused on discipleship with women who are struggling with sexual and relational sins in their own lives, as well as women who are impacted by the sexual sins of their spouses or others. Ellen is available to teach, equip and encourage others (churches, organizations) to become more effective in ministering the gospel of Christ into the midst of all aspects of sexual brokenness.


  • By Pat 12 Oct 2012

    Thank you for these words of truth, Ellen. God began reminding me of this about a year ago as I realized that I couldn’t honestly say with others that my single desire was Jesus. Or that my heart was undivided. Because my heart didn’t want only Jesus or Jesus first and I knew it. God showed me first one, then another, person I was putting first.
    Graciously, as I begged God to give me a heart fully devoted to Him alone, He has brought healing and victories as He continues to show me what else I’ve tried to depend on instead of Him.
    Thank you for confirming God’s truth at work in my life!

  • By katiekoppin 14 Oct 2012

    I stumbled upon your blog and I am glad I did! Thanks for these words 🙂

  • Ellen Dykas
    By Ellen Dykas 17 Oct 2012

    we hope that our blog will be an encouragment to you in your journey!

  • By betty 06 Oct 2013

    think i am finally getting it.
    however: my one thing would be to be in the Presence of the Living God – Praising and Worshiping Him with Complete Abandon~
    All Day and All Nite~
    will be working thru the rest of these blogs~
    Thank you

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